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Issue Date: September 2016
State of the Union?
Although many of us have enjoyed a pleasant summer break, the political agenda remains unchanged. Despite the risks involved, people continue to flee war, misery and poverty. Up to 3000 people have already died this year in the Mediterranean Sea. The initial wave of support and welcome for refugees has become a move in a political game played between European Member States. At a time when reason should be driving political thinking and public debate, the fear factor is being fuelled by misinformation and rumours.
Issue Date: July 2016
The Europe we want, the Europe we need!
Europe has not changed over the past week, but the challenges have become clearer. A majority of the British people has expressed the wish to leave the European Union, a decision which we respect, but regret because of its negative consequences for the British people and for Europe.
Issue Date: May 2016
When Commission President Juncker talks about a "multiple crisis", he is certainly right. The question is how to overcome this crisis and how to rebuild trust in democratic institutions Low voter turnout and massive support for populist and right-wing extremists are the worrying expression of a tendency for more and more people to turn away from democracy.
Issue Date: April 2016
I have often insisted that it is high time for the EU to demonstrate its willingness and capacity to be close to European citizens and to defend social rights, particularly in times of crisis. The EESC haswarmly welcomed the invitation form the Commission President, Mr. Juncker to contribute to the establishment of a European Pillar of Social Rights, a set of principles that will support efficient and fair labour markets and welfare systems. The EESC has already prepared an ambitious work programme that aims to present an opinion for adoption in October 2016.
Issue Date: March 2016
The current State of the Union is a cause for genuine concern.
The humanitarian drama continues unabated at the borders of the European Union, where people continue to move in search of a safer, better and more promising life. The massive scale of these movements has already had huge political repercussions right across the EU and it may be legitimate to ask the provocative question of whether one can still even speak of a Union
Issue Date: February 2016
Europe: a space of freedom and prosperity for people
Over the last few weeks, political debate at European level has been focusing on ways to address the refugee crisis, including a discussion on whether or not the Schengen zone should be suspended.
Issue Date: January 2016
The New Year is already upon us, and the flow of migrants and refugees towards Europe continues. The lack of a coordinated European response and of a strategic approach is giving citizens the impression that there is a loss of control, whatever that control might be.
Issue Date: December 2015
Who else, if not civil society?
With the results of the second round of the French regional elections some time has been gained. But only if there is real change, shifting from financial recovery to real social investment facilitating policies that create more cohesion and more inclusive societies. If the winner takes it all, the loser is likely to reject the system, leading to exclusion and worse.
Issue Date: October 2015
I had the honour and pleasure to be invited by Georges Dassis to his
inauguration as president of the European Economic and Social Committee in front of a partly renewed assembly.
The Committee represents many common interests, giving us the means to better understand and tackle the economic, social and political crisis confronting Europe today, a crisis that is making people turn away from the noble ideal of European integration and democracy.
Issue Date: September 2015
In his speech on the state of the Union, Commission president Juncker made it perfectly clear that action had to be taken to tackle the challenges of migration and the refugee crisis, to work out a social agenda to finally make headway towards a triple-A social Europe and to think about the value of Europe and the need for more Europe.